A novel by Dylan Hicks

May 3, 2016 • 5.5 x 8.25 • 288 Pages • 978-1-56689-432-6

The under-motivated and over-ambitious collide in this novel of manners, money, and the tricky line between friendship and long con.

Archer is a sex toy heir. His best friend, John, is as earnest as Archer is feckless. John’s girlfriend, Sara, writes Archer’s semi-celebrated novels for him. Sara’s roommate, Lucas, wishes he’d never lost his girlfriend to the man. Money, friendship, and resentment unspool in the conversations we have as we’re coming of age and coming to grips.

About the Author

Dylan Hicks is a songwriter, musician, and writer. His work has appeared in the Village Voice, the New York Times, the Star Tribune, City Pages, and Rain Taxi, and he has released three albums under his own name. A fourth, Sings Bolling Greene, was released as a companion album to his first novel Boarded Windows. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife, Nina Hale, and his son, Jackson.

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired. To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.


“Hicks, a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter, is winningly deft with language. From the opening paragraph, neither commas nor em dashes can rein in his enthusiasm for the craft of storytelling, which Hicks embraces with contagious energy and sharp humor.” —New York Times Sunday Book Review

“[A] sprightly tale about friendship and courtship, money, love, assorted complications—and writers. Felicitous characters and a scrumptious plot make Hicks’s second novel refreshing and fun.” —Kirkus, starred review

“[Amateurs is] a sharply observed and very funny novel. . . . [Hicks] has perfect pitch.” —The Guardian

“An improbable and wildly enjoyable mix of a comedy of manners, a road-trip story, and a slacker coming-of-age tale. Hicks manages to turns what could easily have made readers stumble—multiple protagonists in multiple time lines—into a winning narrative style. . . . Though the story lines themselves are engaging, it is Hicks’s ear for dialogue, humor, and detail that makes the novel shine.” —Booklist

“A bright, perceptive story about friends trying with mixed results to wrestle with the pressures of adulthood. . . . Hicks does a near-perfect job tracing each character’s evolving needs, desires and resentments over the course of seven years.” —Los Angeles Times

“Their games of one-upmanship, their tête-a-têtes, give the novel a fun repartee, in addition to highlighting Hicks’s ear for dialogue.” —Heavy Feather Review

“These plot lines . . . are meticulously woven together to create for the reader a sensation of precarious narrative convergence.” —Brooklyn Rail

“The setup of Hicks’s novel is the stuff of classic comic fiction; the minute details and anxieties that surround its characters, however, are what endures.” —Star Tribune

“Hicks . . . has fashioned a droll commentary about ambition among the would-be literati and has written some of the funniest prose in recent years.” —Kenyon Review Online

Amateurs is an ambitious and accomplished novel that appears to be relaxed and easy-going. It is generously plotted and peopled, but I never sensed the author's effort or ambition.” —Extreme Legibility

“Here’s the kind of book—ironic but humane, erudite yet playful—that makes you want to read it in big chunks.” —Minnesota Monthly

“The other thing that Dylan Hicks does so well—he’s a marvelous writer.” KUOW

“Hicks can time a plot fuse perfectly.” —Atticus Reviews

“Dylan Hicks’s second novel Amateurs is one of the most fun books I have read all year, an unforgettable coming of age story.” —Largehearted Boy

“Hicks’s strengths lie in fastidious detail and witty dialogue; both abound in this book.” —Crave Online

“Supremely elegant, accurately human, unceasingly funny. . . . Amateurs is a sublime literary treat by our hinterland Anthony Powell. In a kinder world, there would be a new book by ‘Hicksy’ every year.” —Ed Park, author of Personal Days